Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state nestled in the
Himalayas. It is the least populous state in India and the
second-smallest in area after GoaThe thumb-shaped state borders Nepal
in the west, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and the
east and Bhutan in the southeast. The Indian state of West Bengal
borders Sikkim to its south Despite its small area of 7,096 square
kilometers (2,740 sq mi), Sikkim is geographically diverse due to its
location in the Himalayas. The climate ranges from subtropical to high
alpine. Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak, is located on
the border of Sikkim with Nepal.Sikkim is a popular tourist destination
owing to its culture, scenic beauty and biodiversity.
Legend has it that the Buddhist saint Guru
Rinpoche visited Sikkim in the 9th century, introduced Buddhism and
foretold the era of the monarchy. Accordingly, the Namgyal dynasty was
established in 1642. Over the next 150 years, the kingdom witnessed
frequent raids and territorial losses to Nepalese invaders. It allied
itself with the British rulers of India but was soon annexed by them.
Later, Sikkim became a British protectorate and was merged with India
following a referendum in 1975.
The official language of the state is English, but
there is a sizable population that converses in Nepali ,Lepcha, Bhutia,
and Limbu. It is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepalese
majority. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana
Buddhism. Gangtok is the capital and the largest town. Sikkim has a
booming economy dependent on agriculture and tourism.